Layers of support, expertise help prepare New Jersey hospital for unexpected challenges
- By Ken Bukowski
- May 29, 2009
Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mt. Holly, N.J., is widely recognized for its women’s and children’s health, orthopedics, geriatrics, cardiology, neurology and oncology services. Part of Virtua Health’s specialty programs include a sleep center, diabetes education and treatment including wound care, asthma management and cardiac rehabilitation. Virtua Mt. Holly is the first hospital in Southern New Jersey to be granted the coveted Primary Stroke Center Certification by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
AlliedBarton Security Services began its partnership with Virtua Mt. Holly 16 years ago and has been providing access control and mobile and walking patrols, monitoring security cameras and teaching security-related classes ever since.
The healthcare environment is one that is always changing and is constantly susceptible to the unexpected. This creates many challenges in terms of security. Every day, Virtua Mt. Holly faces the challenge of dealing with new regulatory standards, new sicknesses, unexpected numbers of patients, labor issues, expansion projects and disasters.
As a result, a quality security program is critical.
“We need to know that our security program can respond on many levels,” said Diana Amey, Virtua Mt. Holly’s administrative director of operations. “The most important area is the front line -- our security team and local management need the training and expertise to deal with whatever we throw at them. Equally important are the resources that support local people.”
Amey and the Virtua Mt. Holly leadership can’t always predict what the next challenge will be, and neither can the security team. AlliedBarton’s network of support and expertise provides peace of mind for Virtua.
“We seem to have a regular habit of getting the unusual,” Amey said. “That can be anything from a natural disaster to an unusually high volume of patients and visitors. Whatever the day’s challenge, AlliedBarton is always ready to step up and provide the services we need.”
Layers of Support
AlliedBarton’s team of security officers, including a company account manager is on site, every day, completely integrated into the hospital’s culture. The account manager serves not only as a single point of contact for all of Virtua’s needs but also as an expert resource. Specifically dedicated to Virtua, he too is completely integrated -- as much a part of Virtua as or part of the security team.
Because of the company’s national resources, the local management can remain focused on meeting the client’s needs and fostering a program based on quality. With those resources, including training, recruiting and industry-specific experience, not only are the client’s needs met, but the security staff and local management team’s needs are met as well.
“The officers at Virtua Mt. Holly receive extensive and ongoing training,” said Jermaine Rhyens, AlliedBarton’s account manager at Virtua. “Our officers like the training and see the value in it. And, if additional training is needed, I know our training community can make it happen.
“We also are supported locally by regional and corporate recruiting resources. If Virtua Mt. Holly experiences a planned event or an unexpected situation that requires additional security personnel, we are able to provide properly trained staff quickly.”
The Bottom Line
“The combination of security resources here is amazing,” Amey said. “We have our own internal resources, the security staff, and local and national AlliedBarton management.”
That commitment to excellence has spread throughout the health system.
“Security best practices from Virtua Mt. Holly have been implemented within Virtua Health,” Amey said. “Those were developed because of the AlliedBarton team and training. It is very nice to be regarded as the best practice. That is something I am proud of. Our security team is looked at by the Virtua staff and leadership as the experts.”
A long-term relationship built on trust has resulted in a unique level of acceptance and integration.
“Our team is so completely integrated that the staff and patients don’t think of us as contract employees,” said Harold Gorman, AlliedBarton district manager. “That type of relationship is valuable and is the result of continuous quality service.”